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MPs query HIV extension services to DRC, as Arua registers new cases

Arua health officials are extending the meager HIV services in the district to DRC clients.

Arua, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Members of the Parliamentary Committee on HIV/AIDS have queried the extension of services by Arua district to clients in DR Congo as more new cases are registered at home.

According to statistics, Arua district has over 2,300 registered HIV clients, three quarters are women while a quarter are men most of whom come from DR Congo. 331 new HIV cases were registered in Arua hospital between the period January 2020 to June 2021.

Michael Ejidra, the HIV focal point person for Arua district told the Parliamentary Committee on HIV in Arua that they are forced to share the little with people hailing from DR Congo since they are the majority.

According to Ejidra, they have lost track of some of the clients as a result of long distance travels and ban on movements during the Covid-19 lockdown. He added that prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV/AIDS, also faced challenges as many mothers could not move to access treatment as a result of Covid-19 lockdown.

Simon Ababo, the assistant Chief Administrative Officer Arua in charge of social services disclosed that their efforts to address the needs of HIV clients in the district have further been frustrated by stock out of essential drugs including ARVs, that have delayed to arrive since June this year.

However, Michael Salongo, the MP for Entebbe municipality and member of the committee on HIV/AIDS demanded to know why Uganda’s hard earned income is extended to benefit those in DR Congo.

Meanwhile, Gilbert Oulanyah, a member of the Parliamentary committee on HIV noted that it will be unfair for Uganda to put its own people as a second priority.

But Sarah Kayagi the Chairperson Parliamentary Committee on HIV calls on the leaders of Arua to continue sharing the meager HIV services with those in DRC, adding that they will task government to look into the increased health services demand by bordering districts including Arua.

At the beginning of September, health officials in Arua district launched a week long border point distribution of ARVs to clients in 8 spots along Uganda-DRC border, but the exercise was hampered by bad weather and poor turn up by some of the clients believed to be living inside Congo.



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